Help and FAQ
GuineaPig - SEGA Genesis/Megadrive, Atari VCS 2600, Mastersystem (SMS), GameGear (GG) and NEC TurboGrafx/PCEngine (TG16) Emulator for Palm OS
GuineaPig is a freeware open source emulator of several consoles of
the early to late 1980's and early 1990's,
including the SEGA Genesis (Megadrive), the NEC TurboGrafx (PC Engine)
the Sega Mastersystem and the Game Gear.
GuineaPig is built up entirely from
Charles MacDonald's excellent emulators including Genesis Plus,
SMS Plus and TGemu.
GuineaPig, Genesis Plus, SMS Plus, TGemu are freeware! See the
links below for details. There is no warranty implied! Use at
your own risk!
SEGA, Genesis, Megadrive, Mastersystem and Game Gear are
trademarks of SEGA corporation. TurboGrafx and PCEngine are
trademarks of NEC Corporation. Please
respect all of their copyrights and purchase their games, old
and new. No rights are implied by the existance of this tool.
For help, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
As of the alpha 001 release, GuineaPig requires an OS5 high
device with an expansion media card. I will likely build a mode soon
so it can run on low res OS5 devices like the Treo 600. Its possible
I'll build a mode so it can run without an expansion card, but for now
it requires ROM's to be on expansion media.
Memory requirements vary by emulation module; the Genesis module
is the big boy; the SMS/GG and TG16 modules have much lower
A lot of memory is needed in these early releases
of the Genesis module, so many
older OS5 units won't be able to run it. But memory requirements
are going down with each revision, so if you're running out of
runtime RAM and getting errors, keep trying as new versions come
out. (Remember, theres device runtime RAM and storage RAM. Its
the runtime RAM thats small and we need lots of)
For example, the TH55 couldn't run the 001 version of the emu,
but sure should be able to run the 004 version!
For now its a bit basic, but the app is yet young. You'll need
to have an expansion card (SD card, memory stick, compact flash, etc)
to use the emu.
- Install GuineaPig.prc to your device (wherever you want it to be)
- As of 006 and later, install any emulator modules you desire;
genesis.emu for genesis, smsgg.emu, or pce.emu for example.
(They go in /PALM/Programs/GuineaPig with your ROMs)
- After running GuineaPig at least once, you can
just hotsync .smd files over to your expansion card. (.bin and
other extensions are not managed for hotsync due to potential
conflicts, but will work fine in the emu!)
- Note that you can use .bin or .smd for Genesis, .gg for
Game Gear, .sms for Sega Mastersystem, and .pce for PCEngine
(TurboGrafx16) games. You need the appropriate emulator module
(.emu file) to run the games of course.
- If you're confused about getting the files to your card,
consider using a card writer (USB SD writers are cheap at your
local computer shop), Card Export software, hotsync,
Use Filez or FileCaddy (both are freeware) to move it
around and rename it if needed.
- You put your cartridge game ROMs and emulator modules in
this directory -- /PALM/Programs/GuineaPig
- ROMs must (for now) be unzipped; so no .zip files!
- Atari 2600 ROMs for v014 must have file extension .vcs!
- Thats it. Just run GuineaPig :) Pick a ROM from the listing
and hit Go!
Message Board and SEGA Genesis Links:
By request I've turned up a donation box in the webstore; I
build all of my free software to help support the communities I'm
a proud member of, but feel free to help pay the bills of a self
employed coder :)
Screenshots of GuineaPig:
Sega Genesis module:
Sega SMS/GG module:
NEC TG16 module:
GuineaPig is descended from Genesis Plus, so you may want to check out
the other ports (for Windows, DOS, Mac, DreamCast, GP32, you name it)
- GuineaPig 015.1 beta (signed) -- Added basic Atari 2600 support! Sluggish in zodiac scaled mode but can fix that later.
- GuineaPig 013 public (Genesis, SMS/GG, TG16) -- stable; basic audio; signed and enhanced for Zodiac. Should work on all units. Sluggish on slower devices but can't be helped for now. Thanks to Dmitri for being a perfect bug reporter!
- GuineaPig 012 public (Genesis, SMS/GG, TG16) -- stable; basic audio.
- GuineaPig 015.1 source code for developers -- very current, but be sure to send me your patches!
- GuineaPig 013 source code for developers
- GuineaPig 010 source code for developers -- not the most current, so send patches to me until I can make a new public source offering
- GuineaPig 009a public (Genesis, SMS/GG, TG16) -- stable; basic audio (a little hissy, speed hit while active, but works well on fast units!
- GuineaPig 008a public (Genesis, SMS/GG, TG16) -- stable; basic scaling, works better in low RAM
- GuineaPig 007a public (Genesis, SMS/GG, TG16) -- alpha; basic scaling, maybe work in low RAM
- GuineaPig 006a public (Genesis, SMS/GG, TG16) -- stable; good solid version!
- Pre-releases will be to donators before public; they
deserve some payback for their generosity!
Fixes go to everyone. All releases will go to the public.
NEW: Zodiac hardware mode
o Genesis and TG16 only (the GG/SMS emu seams unstable)
o Default is unscaled as always; check the Scale checkbox to enable this mode
o When on Zodiac, scaling mode will use hardware blitting to go fullscreen
with smoothing; this is a true fullscreen.. scaling to fill, not integer or
o When scaling, FS and Audio checkboxes will be drawn over.. but they're
still there; tap around with your finger to locate if you want.. you can
still alter frameskip if you want to, even though you can barely see it :)
o FPS count is not shown when fullscreening with zodiac mode
Not a lot of free time, but a quick audio hack on all modules.
Alpha 007 and Alpha 008:
Changes to support devices with less heap RAM; more work in this area can
and will be done, but this should get Genesis going on a lot more devices!
Some rudimentary scaling and screen cleanups are now in place. New
policy in place for releases.. see above. No more spamming me :)
Yep, this one pretty much covers a lot of bases, and maybe I'll drop in the
Columbo Colecovision module as well one of these days :)
Genesis improvements here mostly impact non-Zodiacs (who have memory issues
the Zodiac doesn't have). The SMS/GG/TG16 drivers are all new and should work
pretty well, though they're "first alphas" (so theres spacing around their
screens, etc). Theres no stretch or audio implemented yet, but they run
pretty well :)
Genesis will continue to get donor and public updates alternating or
whatever; I'm undecided about the public side of TG16 and SMS/GG drivers..
they will certainly get donor-side updates, but likely not public updates
too much, since I really don't want to hurt Kalemsoft (who has remappable
keys, RAM based ROM pdbs, and other features I don't intend to add to this
free stuff, so do support them!)
Stretch and audio will be going in soon :)
This version uses loadable modules, so you can install the modules you want;
just put the .emu modules in the /PALM/Programs/GuineaPig directory with
your ROMs, and it'll use them as needed.
NEW: On lower memory units will try and move emu core and some other stuff
into storage memory, so memory requirements to run should be a few MB
lower. Still a long way to go, but in theory maybe units with 4-5MB of
heap or more can run the emu. The challenge is freeing up that big 4MB
cartridge rom block..
NEW: frameskip changable live while emu is running
o default frameskip is now 2
o the FPS shown is accurate, but it still feels slow; must be the emu
core not running enough for each frame perhaps..
Assorted fixes and changes..
1) Has the guinea pig icon in it
2) Should be "left justified" now (let me know if not!)
3) A touch faster (not a lot, but a touch)
4) Emulated is the 3 button controller
o Zodiac: the bank of 4 triggers is used; the left, right and
bottom triggers do the deeds
o Non-Zodiac: Since the units have limited buttons (and vary by
unit) its tougher; On PalmOne 5-ways, the center button is the 3rd
button; may be jog dial on some Sony devices
5) Start button in top right; needed on non-Zodiacs (Zodiac gray
'function' button acts as Start)
Zodiac "function" button is used for Start. Home will exit, but it might
take a moment to register.Only 2 button Genesis controller is currently